Procedures, Records, and Forms
Departments are responsible for retaining and disposing of University records in accordance with retention periods approved by the Washington State Records Committee. (RCW 40.14)
Procedures, Records, and Forms
The Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms coordinates the records management program and assists departments with records retention and disposition. The Director of Procedures, Records, and Forms is the WSU Records Officer.
The University Archivist serves as a resource to identify records that may be suitable for the WSU archives collection. See 90.02.
State Records Committee
The State Records Committee reviews and approves University Records Retention Schedules. The committee includes a representative from the State Auditor's Office, the Office of Financial Management, the State Archivist, and the Office of the Attorney General.
Definition of Records
All records and copies of records made or received in the conduct of WSU business, regardless of physical form, are considered public records for purposes of retention and disposition. (RCW 40.14.010)
An approved Records Retention Schedule specifies retention periods for public records and authorizes destruction or release to the University Archives.
The retentions of most University records are included on the All-University Retention Schedule. See below for the actively-linked listing of retention schedule tables. Listed retentions supersede retentions listed on all previously issued schedules for the indicated Record Series Titles.
If, after review of departmental records, departmental personnel find that all records are included in the All-University Records Retention Schedule, no further action is required by the department. The department retains and disposes of records in conformance with the All-University Schedule.
If the department has unique Records Series Titles not included on the All-University Schedule, the department's records coordinator is to contact the WSU Records Officer. The Records Officer prepares a draft Record Retention Schedule that includes the unique Records Series Titles and recommended retentions.
The Records Officer routes the draft schedule to the department for review.
After departmental review and approval, the Records Officer routes the final Records Retention Schedule to the State Records Committee for approval.
To request a new or revised Retention Schedule, contact the Records Officer at telephone 335-2005 or mail code 1225.
The following description includes terms used on the All-University Schedule and individual departmental Retention Schedules. The exhibit in the PDF version of 90.01.2 is an example of a departmental schedule.
Office of Record
The Office of Record is the department or unit name.
The department chair designates a Records Coordinator for the department. This employee coordinates the preparation of the Records Retention Schedule, reviews the schedule biennially and supervises retention and disposition of office records.
Records Series Title
The Records Series Title and Statement of Function or Purpose name and describe the records in a Records Series.
The checkboxes in the Status field indicate whether or not the records series is:
- New to the departmental schedule,
- Transferred or to another University department, or
If no checkbox is selected, no change is made to the records series.
OPR or OFM
OPR (Official Public Records) include:
- Records required by state or federal law.
- Records of legal transactions, e.g., receipts, contracts.
- Records used in fiscal/financial audits, e.g., Effort Certification.
OFM (Office Files and Memoranda) include all other records including copies of Official Public Records. Most records are OFM.
Location of Other Copies
This column identifies the location of other copies of the records series. An asterisk (*) identifies the office holding the official record for the University for that records series. This column may be blank.
The retention period begins at cutoff.
If a cutoff were FY (fiscal year) and the retention period were two years, the Records Series would be collected through the current fiscal year and retained for two more fiscal years.
Common Cutoff Acronyms
Calendar year CY Fiscal year FY Final payment of contract FPOC Last record disposed of LRDO Month MO Quarter QTR Semiannual SA Termination of contract TOC Termination of employment TOE Until superseded US
The Retention Period is the minimum period that the records must be kept after cutoff. Administrators may keep records longer.
Disposition Authority Number
The State Records Committee assigns a Disposition Authority Number (DAN) when a records series is approved for retention and disposition.
If the University Archivist determines that a Records Series may have long-term historical value, the Records Officer indicates "Potential Archives" in this column. Records coordinators are to arrange to transfer such records to University Archives after the retention period has elapsed. Contact Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC) for assistance; telephone 335-6691. See also 90.02.
University departments are responsible for identifying and protecting essential records needed during an emergency and for the reestablishment of normal operations afterwards. If a record series is identified by a department as being required for the department to resume operations after a disaster or emergency, "essential" is indicated in this column. If lost or destroyed, re-creation of essential records can be both costly and time consuming, if not impossible. Refer to 90.15 for the complete essential records policy.
Biennial Review Process
Each University department is responsible for reviewing the departmental Records Retention Schedule at least once every two years to ensure that the schedule is complete and current (WAC 434-626-020). To facilitate this review process, Procedures, Records, and Forms biennially notifies the department of review requirement.
The department records coordinator reviews the schedule with appropriate departmental officials. The department responds to Procedures, Records, and Forms by electronic mail or completes and mails a Retention Schedule Review form to Procedures, Records, and Forms at mail code 1225. If changes are required, the Records Officer prepares a draft schedule as indicated above.
Print the PDF master form on 90.01.8 to obtain blank copies of the Retention Schedule Review.
The department is responsible for securely maintaining the records for the retention period indicated on the retention schedule.
The department's responsibility includes ensuring the physical safety of the records, as well as ensuring that confidential records are protected from inappropriate or illegal release. See 90.05 for more information about release of confidential records.
Electronic records must be retained in electronic format and remain usable, searchable, retrievable, and authentic for the designated retention period. Printing and retaining a hard copy is not a substitute for retention of the electronic version. (WAC 434-662-040)
Few records are worth preserving forever. The Records Committee rarely approves retaining a Records Series permanently.
Superseding Retention Schedule
If an audit, legal action, or public records request is in progress, related records may not be disposed of even when authorized by the retention schedule. See 30.12 and 30.14 regarding audits. See 90.05 regarding public records requests. See 90.12 regarding litigation holds.
Inactive Records Storage
After records are no longer regularly accessed, departments should move the records from active files in file cabinets or computers to inactive storage locations. For inactive storage, paper records may be placed in archive boxes available from University Stores, order number 3094.
Digital records may be moved to offline storage.
An inactive storage location should be secure from unauthorized access, as well as provide protection from physical damage, e.g., from vandalism, water, fire.
At WSU Pullman, if acceptable space is not available to store inactive records for the required retention period, route a written request for storage space to Space Management in Capital Planning and Development; mail code 3611; telephone 335-8456.
An approved records schedule provides authorization to archive or to dispose of University records. (RCW 40.14.060)
After records have been stored for the complete retention period, the records coordinator either sends the records to University Archives or disposes of the records. If the records are to be disposed of, the records coordinator either destroys or recycles the records.
Many records may be recycled in accordance with University recycling procedures. See 80.80.
If the records are confidential, reduce them to an illegible condition to prevent undesirable or illegal disclosure. (WAC 434-640-020)
Confidential records include records that are exempt from public disclosure. See 90.05, 90.06, and 90.07. Examples of confidential records include student files and patient files.
Paper Records Destruction
Generally, paper records are destroyed by shredding. Departments may shred records with a departmentally-owned shredders, hire a private shredding company, or have the records shredded by WSU Waste Management.
Facilities Operations Shredder
The Waste Management division of Facilities Operations at WSU Pullman operates a shredder and accepts confidential paper records for shredding. Contact Waste Management for information regarding use of the shredder and costs to departments; telephone 335-4530. Refer to the following website for related information:
Private Shredding Company
Departments may obtain the services of a private shredding company. Contact Procedures, Records, and Forms for more information. Departmental personnel contact the private shredder and pay for the service by purchasing card (see 70.08) or by issuing a Department Order (see 70.07).
Like paper records, confidential records in nonpaper media, e.g., microfilm, CDs, DVDs, hard drives, must be made illegible prior to disposal.
Such media must be physically destroyed or digital records must be securely deleted with a suitable software program. Any electronic destruction method must include at least a three-pass binary overwrite. Contact Procedures, Records, and Forms for assistance with locating deletion software.
See 20.76 for procedures for removing data from hard drives of computers to be sent to Surplus Stores or sold to another University department.
See the PDF form:
90.01.8: Retention Schedule Review
Complete and/or print as needed.
|Administrative-- Executive Level Records (Dean and above)||
|Administrative--General Office Operations||
|Information Services Records||
|Library Services Records||
|Mail Services Records||
|Payroll and Personnel Records||
|Property Management Records||
|Public Affairs and Public Disclosure Records||
|Records Management Files||
|Research and Sponsored Projects Records||